interested in and your friend comes along and lays claim to him.
life—except it’s worse. My friend who keeps “jamming” me is my gay roommate and
if that isn’t a W.T.F. moment, I’m not sure what is.
three—of the guys I had been so sure were into me.
Fact: He’s really
pissing me off. I mean, hello? I’m trying to get back in the saddle, but I’ll
never manage to get a boyfriend before the age of fifty if he keeps this up.
Fact: Secretly, I wonder
what it would be like if he weren’t gay. Why do all the hot, sweet,
tender-hearted guys have to be gay?
Fact: My gay-dar needs a
The day I
interviewed for the room to rent, everything changed. I knew I had met “the
girl”, except there was one small problem: she didn’t want anything to do with
men. I recognized a top-notch force field when I saw one. She’d been burned
badly and didn’t want to deal with a heterosexual guy as a roommate. I could’ve
turned around and found another place to live, but I wanted to live there—with
Fact: I’m a likely
candidate for carpal tunnel surgery since all the action I’ve had for the past
year has been my hand.
Fact: She’s going to
hate me if I come clean now.
Fact: I’m not giving
up. Which means, I’ll just have to continue to run defense until I figure out a
way to get Maggie to see the “real” me.
would never do her wrong.
I’ll keep running off every guy who shows any interest.
I’ll continue to Clam Jam.
Boldt, a retired Navy Chief, mother of Little Miss Boldt, and former teacher of
many students. She currently lives on the southeastern coast of North Carolina,
enjoys long walks on the beach, running, reading, people watching, and singing
karaoke. If you’re in the mood for some killer homemade mojitos, can’t recall
the lyrics to a particular 80’s song, or just need to hang around a
nonconformist who will do almost anything for a laugh, she’s your girl.
Inhaling deeply, I continue, “But I have to be honest with you. I’ve recently broken up with my dirtbag fiancé”—I break off with what I hope is a lighthearted laugh, but I swear it comes out sounding strained and a touch maniacal—“and I’m not interested in having a roommate who’s a guy and—”
I jerk, startled by his interrupting admission. And if I didn’t know better, I’d swear I detected a little hint of surprise in his eyes.
My eyebrows arch. “Really?” Shoot. That’s rude because even I hear the tinge of disbelieving doubt in my voice.
“Yes.” He nods, clasping his hands together and leaning forward to rest his forearms on the table. “Jack and I have been together for years now.” One of his hands reaches up to tug on his earlobe. “We still have a bit of an”—he pauses, lips pressing thin as though he’s trying to word it correctly—“open relationship, and I feel it’s best … to have a separate place and not be continuously underfoot.”
Huhhhhh. I’m still processing this information when he continues.
“So”—he flashes a smile that makes my insides all gooey—“you wouldn’t have anything to worry about with me.”
“Okay,” I say slowly, “but what about guests and sleepovers? Because I’m not a huge fan of having to listen to moaning and—”
“Not a problem.” He waves a hand dismissively. “I can totally stay at Jack’s place. He doesn’t have a roommate. It’s no big deal.” He flashes me another smile, and I feel my ovaries weep his name.
It’s a good thing he’s gay. Otherwise, let’s be real. I’d likely end up being that roommate who accidentally-on-purpose “sleepwalks” into his bedroom—naked—and has sex with him.
Holy crap. Did I really just think that? Bad, Maggie. Baaaad, Maggie.
Glancing over his paperwork, I say, “If you don’t mind, I have a few other applicants to interview.” Lies. I’m totally stalling. Raising my eyes, I find him watching me expectantly; that gaze centered on me in such a way that I feel like I’m the only person who exists right now. “But, tentatively, I’d like to offer you the room for rent.”
If I thought Ryland’s smile was ovary-lurch inducing before, this one trumps that. Big time. It’s blindingly bright and infectious, and I can’t help but return it. We sit there for a moment before he clears his throat, and I remember what else I have to tell him.
“But she doesn’t want anything to do with men, Ry. What are you going to do? Just casually bring it up one morning that you’re actually hetero?” He scoffs, shaking his head at me. “I see that going over real well.”
“I haven’t gotten that far but, this way, I can get to know her without all that shit getting in the way. The whole nervousness, the whole showing the other person your best at all times until you’re really committed and then it all comes out.”
“And you’re going to do this by being dishonest from the get-go.”
Running my hands down my face, I let out a frustrated groan. “What was my other option? To let her go, to never have an opportunity to get to know her—to never get to be her friend, at the very least—without her feeling like I have any ulterior motives—”
“Which you do.”
“—and be faced with the possibility of me being too late and another guy getting to her when she decides she’s ready to start dating again?”
“I’d like to go on record and say that you’ve been watching too many damn chick flicks.”
He’s silent for a moment, staring at me before his lips twitch, slowly forming a smirk. “So how long have we been together, love muffin?”
The breath I’ve been holding in comes out in a slow exhale. “For a while.” Holding up a finger, I add, “But we have an ‘open’ relationship.”
His eyebrows arch at that. “Why, you little player, you. Won’t commit to being monogamous, huh?” He tips his beer to his lips, takes a swig, and grins. “I bet I can convince you to be mine within a few months tops, pookie bear.”
I make a face, scoffing, “Not likely.”
He waves a hand dismissively. “You’ll be putting out before long. Mark my words.”
“You’re not right.” I laugh, shaking my head at him.
“You’re the one who’s pretending to be gay.”
We both take a swig of beer and fall silent for a moment before Jack finally speaks.
“Can’t say that I’ve ever pretended to be someone’s gay lover before.” His face stretches into a wide, toothy grin.
And, just like that, my best friend is officially involved in my game plan. All for the sake of a woman I’m convinced is “the one.”